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Monday, August 06, 2007

Australia - the inhabitants

This is Part Two of my talk about our fair land - for the introduction, see here.

I will begin with our original inhabitants; our indigenous Aboriginals, who shamefully (on our part) were only given the Federal right to vote after a referendum in 1967. That's right. They've been here for over 40,000 years and that's what you get. Our current government still refuses to publically apologise for the 'Stolen Generation' which was the "act of removal of the children from their parents, because it would leave the Federal Government open to compensation claims"(source) It's an ugly mess, and I hope one day it will be sorted out.

If foreigners are asked what they thought an Australian looked like, typically, this sort of individual is described:





A bronzed, laconic, bush-savvy larrikin who wears leather and can speak/tame the animals at will (Paul Hogan typified this; Steve Irwin took it up later). But is this accurate? Certainly in the 1980's I don't think people really cared if it did or not because it created tourism. And tourism creates MONEY.

Nowadays, I think this stereotype --that's what it is--is fading. Leaving aside the late Steve Irwin (bless him - we miss him), who else is like this? A lot of people in the regional centres, yes. Heck, I'm related to a few of them. Not exactly like Crocodile Dundee, obviously, but rugged, physical types who've lived pretty hard. Our farmers. Our roustabouts. Our shearers.

What are we like now? I don't know. But when you consider almost one in four of our citizens were born overseas, we're an eclectic bunch. That's what I like about us, actually.

I've forgotten the women, haven't I? Hmm...let's see. Famous Aussie women: Kylie Minogue, Nicole Kidman, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Naomi Watts (although I read she actually considers herself British. Hmph!). Do we all look like them? No. But I happen to think we're pretty open, friendly and hospitable. And that's even better though, isn't it?

It's either that, or, Dame Edna Everage. I've got a scoop for some of you.......she's really a man.

That's another thing about some of our gents. The cross-dressing. Our rugged, football blokes do it; our flamboyant gay community do it. Don't ask me why. I think it's a cultural thing, certainly inherited from our mother-country England* (Little Britain, anyone?)

*But I'm sure someone will want to debate that idea!

How've I covered it all? Anything else you're burning to know?

Comments on "Australia - the inhabitants"

 

Blogger richard said ... (11:04 am) : 

sorry naomi watts did not say she considers herself british. she said she is both british and australian because she was born in england and had lived there for 14 years before moving to australia. her mom still lives and runs a business in england today. she further said she is open to claim be it from great britain or australia, or from both. the fact is this is not forthcoming from shallow australians who evidently only want "our nic", "our cate" and "our kylie".

 

Blogger Miscellaneous-Mum said ... (12:54 pm) : 

Heck, it really doesn't worry me which nationality she chooses to identify with. I was only joking - if you were familiar with my blog and style, you'd see that.....

 

Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said ... (4:55 am) : 

I think a lot of my favourite actresses are Australian, by the way.

 

Blogger D. Paul said ... (7:08 am) : 

Misc-Mum, I would like to hear an opinion on Ned Kelly that isn't filtered through a camera lens or the eye of an editor. Where do you stand on your nation's famous Robin Hood of the Outback?

 

Blogger Miscellaneous-Mum said ... (7:20 am) : 

JLP - We do have some great ones, don't we! :)

D.Paul - ooohhhh...!! What a juicy subject. There are 2 camps on Ned Kelly.
1) He was a petty criminal, no more, no less. Worse, he was a 'cop-killer' - a stigma which remains to this day, in our country and most others.
2) He was a lower-class Irishman, struggling to overcome the ostacles put in the way. That he was never given a chance, and his spiral downwards was a tragedy.

I'll have to think about this some more...but if you're interested read "True History of the Kelly Gang" by Peter Carey. It won the Booker Prize for Literature in 2001 (a big deal). It's great.

 

Blogger Iris Flavia said ... (4:25 pm) : 

What I found very strange - at least in Perth´s suburbs - is that at night it´s really totally dark. Sure, in the day the sun doesn´t come in, hence the light at night doesn´t come out of the houses. No laterns or whatsoever in front - do you feel safe that way? If it wasn´t for the lights of the Shopping Centre, I wouldn´t have known when to get off the bus.
It gave me a rather hostile impression in that very moment.

Or is this a typical Perth-thing, being City of the Lights those days?

 

Blogger D. Paul said ... (3:56 am) : 

Thanks, Misc-Mum, I will. I find the subject of Ned Kelly endlessly fascinating!

 

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